It is Navistar’s first foray into hydrogen-powered fuel cells. The zero-emissions technology is gaining traction as an alternative to diesel.
- Daimler Trucks is working with rival Volvo Group to produce heavy-duty fuel cells for trucking and stationary use in data centers.
- Kenworth, a PACCAR Inc. (NASDAQ: PCAR) brand is partnering with Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) on a fleet of 10 fuel cell trucks being deployed at the Port of Los Angeles. Toyota also is working with its Hino Truck subsidiary on fuel cell trucks.
- South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Corp. is the presumptive leader in fuel cells. It is delivering production versions of its Xcient fuel cell to fleets in Switzerland. Hyundai plans to test the Xcient in North America in 2021.
Next-generation fuel cell configuration
Cummins showed a demonstration Class 8 fuel cell at the North American Commercial Vehicle show in October 2019.
The Navistar truck will be tested by Werner Enterprises (NASDAQ: WERN). The project is partially funded through an award Cummins announced in August from the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
“This vehicle will feature our next-generation fuel cell configuration and provides a springboard for us to advance our hydrogen technology for line haul trucks,” said Amy Davis, president of Cummins’ business segment.
The DOE awarded Cummins more than $7 million in two grants to speed development of heavy-duty fuel cell trucks. Objectives include a 300-mile driving range between refuelings with better fuel economy than today’s diesel-powered trucks.
The powertrain will be integrated into an International RH Series, using two HyPM HD90 power modules. Each is made up of HD45 fuel cell stacks connected in a series that can be turned on or off depending on how much power is needed.
“Hydrogen offers great opportunity in the commercial vehicle sector, and we’re proud to be part of the team working to develop a complete solution for customers,” said Darren Gosbee, Navistar vice president of engineering.
Werner Enterprises gets test truck
The prototype fuel cell class 8 truck will be integrated into Werner Enterprises’ fleet of more than 7,700 tractors. It will be tested for a year in real-world local and regional delivery operations out of Fontana, California.
“This integration aligns with our Environmental, Social and Governance initiatives as we continually look for new ways to reduce our carbon footprint,” said Scott Reed, Werner senior vice president of fleet purchasing and maintenance.
Werner wants to gain a full picture of how fuel cells perform over challenging road conditions in hot and cold climates, Reed said. It also wants to develop a total-cost-of-ownership analysis.
The DOE wants its award money to be used to meet or exceed conventional diesel powertrain performance requirements and reduce the upfront capital costs by 35% to make zero-emissions fuel cell technologies viable for commercial fleets.